Data evaluation is an important application of math reasoning skills. How to categorize or summarize and evaluate data and draw inferences are important learnings anybody may require to make important decisions. Right from the primary level of education, teachers introduce kids to various data categorization tools such as pie charts, graphs, etc. One such tool is a Venn diagram.
Venn diagrams are required for decision-making
John Venn invented Venn Diagrams. His vision was to use these diagrams to understand relationships between the sets of things having different characteristics. It can have multiple applications in real-life settings. Simple use of making and analyzing set relationships lies in creating teams for projects. The people may be categorized as per their educational qualification, availability on weekdays, extra skills, etc. Using Venn diagrams, the managers can draw a complete profile of individuals and assign tasks accordingly.
Important actions one can do using Venn diagrams are:
- Making comparisons in the classroom
- Comparing two career choices
- Comparing social media networks for business promotion
- Understanding students’ performance in the class
- Understanding health profile of children, etc.
So, whenever there are multiple sets of things having a few common and uncommon characteristics, one can categorize them as per the conditions provided.
Teaching venn diagrams through games and activities – A few options
1. Hoops game
It is one of the simplest and the most precise representations of the Venn diagram idea. You can keep two hoops side by side in a partially overlapped manner. Name the hoops as Red and Round. Give a set of objects like a ball, red tomato, cherry, red chili, red rose, etc. You may ask kids to put these objects in the relevant hoop or in the overlapped region as per their characteristics. It can be repeated with various kinds of sets of objects. Using the differentiation skills, kids fill the hoops and get an idea of how the Venn diagram functions and eases decision-making.
2. Rubik cube coloring
This activity requires making a cube from cardboard paper. Each surface of this cube is made into 3×3 matrices as we find in a Rubik’s cube. You can ask kids to color the cells in different hues. On completion, you can drive kids’ thinking to find cells that belong to different data sets, such as red-colored cells, blue-colored cells, cells on the edge or blue cells on the edge, etc. They can even cut the cells and place them on a Venn diagram’s circles drawn on a chart paper.
3. Sorting shapes activity
Shape and color recognition, math reasoning, and an interesting way of learning Venn diagrams come wrapped together in this activity. You can provide children with a number of differently shaped chips or models such as circles, hexagons, squares, and so on. These items may have different colors. Make three partially overlapping circles and name them as circles, hexagons, and red.
Kids place these shape manipulatives in the relevant areas of the hoop that explain their characteristics. For example, kids will place a hexagon in the non-overlapping area of the hoop named hexagon if it is blue in color, and so on. Once all shapes are sorted, you may ask questions like, “how many shapes are circles and not red?” It helps kids understand the use of Venn diagrams in data evaluation and comparison activities.
4. Play zenga
Make two disjointed circles and label them even and odd. Zenga is a game where the kids first make the balancing tower by stacking numbered blocks. The kids roll the dice and take out the block that corresponds to the number rolled. In this activity, instead of putting the block at the top of the tower, they can put it in the relevant circle. The rounds may continue till the tower collapses. By playing this game, the kids can be introduced to the idea of separate circles or disjoint Venn diagrams. This gamified way of teaching about Venn diagrams brings enables better participation and involvement in learning.
5. Talk and know each other
This is a classroom activity where you pair up students. They create a 2-circle Venn diagram for the purpose of recording information. The activity requires them to talk about their interests, vital statistics, unique style, favorite things, hobbies, etc. They can put their unique characteristics outside the portion where the circles overlap. By counting common and uncommon characteristics, students can know of their similarities, dissimilarities, compatibility, etc. Kids can learn how Venn diagrams work and help in tabulating information; in addition, they can develop social skills and build connections too.
6. Compare and contrast
It employs a Venn diagram graphic organizer. This organizer contains 2 partially overlapping circles. To make this activity interesting, students are asked to compare and contrast two things that commonly occur around them. For example, they may compare a paper and a pen. Or they may compare two food items of their choice, such as jam and cheese spread. By taking turns, they write the features of both. They fill the overlapped region with common characteristics shared by these items.
Real-life applications of venn diagrams
Categorizing on the basis of unique and common features is important for comparing and contrasting activities. Venn diagrams in real life help categorize things based on the features of immediate and remote consideration. A few interesting practical applications of Venn diagrams are:
- E-Commerce: The logic behind filtering options available for e-purchase employs grouping of features using Venn Diagrams
- Animal identification: Biology beginners employ Venn diagrams to compare physical characteristics of animals
- Story analysis: Whether the two novels are identical in story or plot or not can be found out by comparing events using diagrams
- Course comparison: When you need to pick the institute that fits your requirements most aptly, you can compare options visually with Venn diagrams
In essence, in all activities where one needs to compare and contrast the features of two or more items, Venn diagrams can help gain clarity.
Venn diagrams have several applications in adult life. Right from making choices between clothes or houses to making a correct investment portfolio, people may get the required help in the assessment of options from Venn diagrams. Hence, activities offer a workable solution to employ formative years in learning how to sort, compare and contrast. A practical way of learning offered by activities move learners closer to real-life applications of Venn diagrams and makes them fluent with data evaluation.
I am Pratiksha Bhatt, Bachelor of Life Science, and Masters in Management Studies. I have done certification courses in early education counseling. I am a writer, a mother of a child with spelling difficulties which drove me to alternative resources of education like manipulatives and participatory activities. My areas of expertise are learning difficulties, alternative learning methods, and activity-based learning.